CPAP Chin Strap

How to use a chin strap to improve cpap therapy

The CPAP chin strap is very useful for CPAP users who sleep with their mouth open.

The chin strap keeps the mouth closed during sleep, thus preventing dry mouth symptoms in the morning.

It also prevents the air (delivered from the CPAP machine) to escape from the open mouth.

Breathing in and out through the nostrils is the healthy way to sleep. However, many of sleep apnea patients are mouth breathers because of nasal congestion issues, having a deviated septum or due to jaw structure.

You may want to discuss nasal obstructions with your sleep specialist.

If you didn't learn or you don't know how to sleep with your mouth closed, then this information can help you sleep better.

In this page you will learn:

  • how to use a CPAP chin strap,
  • how to MAKE a chin strap,
  • CPAP chin strap reviews,
  • what is best CPAP chin straps,
  • other CPAP mouth breathing solutions.

Stories about CPAP Chin Straps:

I am a mouth breather and use Swift FX Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask. With just this mask I was waking up in the morning with the most severe dry mouth. I was also waking up often due to dry mouth sensation.

I got a chin strap and things started to get much better. Less dry mouth symptoms and less waking up. Then I thought maybe I should tighten the chin strap some more so mouth was guaranteed to be closed. This resulted in way more better sleep and way less dry mouth problems of any sort.

Helena C. - UK

Why Mouth Breathing is a Problem in CPAP Users?

Mouth breathing has been shown to adversely affect CPAP adherence because the CPAP air cannot get through your airways with the right pressure.

Dry mouth is another side effect which results from sleeping with the mouth open.

How to keep your mouth closed when you sleep?

You need a solution to keep your mouth closed or to prevent the CPAP air to escape. You have three solutions:

  1. learn to breathe with your mouth closed - but it's harder than it sounds.

  2. use a CPAP full face mask - with this mask opening your mouth during sleep becomes a non-issue.

  3. use a CPAP chin strap - some sleep apnea patients can't use a full face mask or can't afford it. This is where the CPAP chin strap comes into play.

  4. when a chin strap or full face mask doesn't work, some CPAP users have success with mouth taping to keep their mouth closed.

Best CPAP Chin Straps

You may know that is very common for the mouth to relax and open during sleep, especially when using CPAP. So if you don't like the full face mask, you have to use a CPAP chin strap.

Some chin straps for sleep apnea are often uncomfortable and many of them ineffective. But then again, what works for somebody may not work for you. You got to test it.

Check out these chin straps, which are specially designed for CPAP:

  • ResMed Chin Strap - which some patients say that it would just slide around too much and isn't firm enough. For others, it works just fine.

ResMed Chin Strap

  • Respironics Premium Chin Strap - which has an improved system for pulling your chin up and not back. Pulling your chin back can exacerbate your sleep apnea, since having a jaw set too far back is the root of your problem.

Respironics Premium Chin Strap Review:

How to Use a CPAP Chin Strap

The CPAP chin strap should be tight enough to keep your jaw closed when you relax it, but loose enough that you can open it to talk.

If you received a chin strap but you don't have instructions on how to use it, this video can be really helpful:

How to Use a Chin Strap With a CPAP Mask?

Getting a good and comfortable fit on a sleep apnea chin strap can be a challenge. When you get a new chin strap, or wash an old one, you should start with the fitting process, as I explain for Respironics Chin Strap:

  • start with the strap that's loose.

  • then you place your thumb about half an inch away from the strip, rip the strip and place it where your thumb is.

  • if you are a guy, you don't have to worry about hair getting caught. For gals with this problem, get a bit of cotton (maybe cut it from an old t-shirt) and wrap it around the part of the chin strap that will be against your hair and stitch it to the strap.

  • try the cpap chin strap at a comfortable tightness when you go to sleep. Don't worry that you can open your mouth with it when you are awake. The chin strap for sleep apnea is not designed to clamp your mouth shut. It's supposed to hold your jaw at a closed resting position.

  • put it on so it's comfortable for you. It doesn't need to be too tight. A gentle hug. And try the straps in different positions and see what works for you.

  • take some time, work it out and you'll be fine.

Some people use ace bandages, but the advantage with the chin strap is that you don't have to refit it each night.

How to Make a Chin Strap?

If you like to create things on your own, you can make yourself the best chin strap. This great idea belongs to Reno Tom so he should receive all the credits.

The idea for this new chin strap seems to simple, and it may or may not work for you, but definitely work for a lot of patients with snoring problems and mouth breathers.

Start off with a few simple demonstrations to understand the concept of how the new chin strap works:

  • first, clench your teeth together real tight. With your teeth clenched, take a small sip of water from a glass.

  • I bet that you succeeded the first step. Now, let's try one more thing. Try to open your lips and breathe, of course with your teeth clenched.
  • Don't worry, 'cause this isn't an attempt at poking fun of you. It is an attempt to demonstrate that you can wrap up that jaw pretty good, and still mouth breath.

    So, what now? How do we stop this mouth breathing?

  • Try this very simple exercise:

    • with your teeth together (not clenched unless you want to), let your lips open slightly so that you can softly breath through them.

    • now, while you are breathing, place your finger across your chin just bellow your bottom lip (so that your finger is parallel to your lip), and push softly upward and inward against your lip. You should find that it takes very little pressure to close your lip and stop your breathing.

  • Hopefully you are starting to get the idea that it ain't the jaw, it's the lip, and if you can get someone to hold their finger across your lip all night, you got this problem solved.
  • So, what do you really should do? Well, for this one you have to spend a couple of bucks and try for a few days. Go to a fabric store and get enough 1 inch wide elastic to wrap around your head and have some left over. You pick the color. Also get a couple of safety pins.

    Now the silly part: wrap the elastic around your head, and fasten it with a safety pin. I can also suggest to sew velcro dots or strips onto the elastic instead of using safety pin.

    You want it to go across your chin, just bellow your lip, and run at a slight upward angle to the back of your head. You can fasten it to your headgear at the back to keep it from slipping down if you want.

    You want the elastic to exert enough pressure on your lip to keep it closed, but no more. It really doesn't take much, and it should not be uncomfortable.

    Okay, so what now? Try it for a few days. And see if it works. If it does, then you got to make a real chin strap for CPAP.

Remember, this new chin strap idea is addressed to anyone who has mouth breathing problems. So if a Resmed or a Respironics chin strap doesn't work, try this method. You will probably be surprised, in a positive way.

Our Readers Have Questions:

Dry mouth problems with CPAP. I have been using the cpap machine for a while and it has been drying out my mouth and throat. I have a lot of allergy problems and I'm wondering if there is a way to fix the [...]

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My mouth opens in sleep and the seal on my mask is broken I currently use a ResMed Mirage Quattro mask. This is my 3rd mask. This mask is best, but THE BRIDGE OF MY NOSE BECOMES SORE from the pressure [...]

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Can I find a cpap mask that will be successful on my own face? I'm seeking a facial apparatus to provide a successful seal without creating significant pain on cheek-bones, forehead, or neck/spine[...]

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